Monday, March 29

Coming off like a callous prick

I managed to fight the temptation to register for The Whole Enchilada until I went to bed Thursday night.  I woke up relieved to find that it had officially closed and there was no backsies.  Pheww.  I stuck to whatever one might call "principles."  All it woulda took to pull me in woulda been dry trails tho, and then I probably woulda threw my other "principles" out the window.

The poor course markings.  The consistently messed up results.  The lack of any aid stations* for almost fifty miles of riding.  Kind of half doing things right but as long as enough people keep showing up who cares?

*"Due to COVID-19 this race will have no aid stations." was what was posted on the official site, but they put them out there anyways... so any time one mighta spent studying the map and showing up early to stash bottles was wasted, or dog forbid you were one of those poor souls lugging a 100oz hydration pack on your back for no reason...

Anyhoo, with nothing better to do on Saturday with all the wet trails in town and the mountains getting walloped with torrential rain leading into the weekend, I was convinced to join some folks at the heckle spot at The Whole Enchilada.  I may not support the race this time around, but I can support the racers?  That and I wanna spend a lot of time riding the Vertigo Meatplow V.7 in whatever manner I can just so it feels as much a part of me as possible before the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek next week.

I woke up at 6:14AM, piddled about the house, and about 45 minutes before leaving, I had what one might call an idea.  It seems like every year at TWE, someone or other is out there with some decent camera equipment, and after the race, the "who was taking photos out there and where can we see them?" posts pop up on social media.  I've never understood the missed opportunity here.  FWIW: I'd say at least 50% of the field is made up of people who ride mountain bikes, but would not call themselves "mountain bikers" in the way that so many of us wear that on our sleeves.  The Half and Whole Enchilada is not just another notch on their belts, but a novel accomplishment, a real challenge... the kinda thing they're going to talk their other friends with mountain bikes into doing.  Some of these folks will become "mountain bikers," caring about such things as trail advocacy and work, growth of the sport, and estblish a damn fine healthy (but occasionally wallet-draining) habit.  So anyways, it wouldn't take much to dump a bunch of images on the internet, and with the combined enthusiasm of these folks and also the "look at me, I raced my bike again" crowd, people are going to market your event for free for years to come (think FaceBook memory posts).

So anyways, I hastily charged my camera and hauled my ass the seventeen miles out to the USNWC... and because I'm logistically challenged, got to the heckle spot about an hour too early.

All in all, I got over 200 photos before my not charged all the way camera battery died.

My biggest concern was what was I gonna do with all these images when I got home.

I mean, one of the odd things about The Whole Enchilada event page on FaceBook is that there is zero discussion.  There used to be in the past... which makes me think they shut it off.

Mebbe they got tired of answering dumb questions.  They were getting them.  Mebbe they didn't like all the post-race comments about messed up results or "where are the photos?"


But either way, I'd never tried to dump a bunch of images into a FaceBook album, and I wasn't sure how many people belonged to whatever local groups where I'd be able to share them.

But I managed to figure it out, like any other Gen X'er who would rather not figure it out... because I could be doing something better.  I made the gallery public to anyone on or off FaceBook... so there's that.

And of course I didn't know I would spend my evening seeing notifications popping up with people asking to tag images and friend requests and whatnot... and me afraid to miss one accidentally... thus coming off like a callous prick.

I guess it all worked out okay... except I did not have even close to the amount of fun the actual hecklers did.

And there was soooooo much good heckling to be had.

I do realize the irony in sharing these images, which will show up on FaceBook here and there, and do their part to market the event in the future.  *sigh*

Of course, my FOMO was hitting hard in both directions.  I wanted yelling, drinking beer, and clanging a bell but also to be riding my bike with a number plate on my bike.

That feeling at least went away a bit on Sunday when I started looking at the results and seeing discrepancies. 

People quitting the Whole, finishing the Half... getting scored for the Whole.

It can be kinda easy to miss a turn, and because all the trails are used, you will eventually see another arrow again, confirming that you're going the right way... I mean going the right way once again.

I'm sure 90% of the people out there had a great time doing a thing.  3% of the people are looking at the results and saying WTF?  7% are sad because they didn't get the free socks.

I made up those numbers obvs.

Time to focus on this coming weekend and lay awake at night thinking about whether my 780mm bars are gonna be 740mm on a very permanent basis.

Did I just start a whole 'nother topic and leave it hanging out there?

Yeth, El Guapo.


Anonymous said...


dicky said...

I haz, Buck.

It was at the house when I got home Saturday.